Where do I address controversial changes?

+5 votes

I have a few different things I need help with:

  1. I need to document something, but the source is some old emails which have been copied onto a web page that is no longer online. I have a saved copy of this page. Where do I add this text so that I can then reference it and discuss it with other profile editors? Should it be part of a Family Mysteries page? To-do list? Public comments? Or should I insert it somewhere into the profile biography?
  2. Are there any rules for determining when to sever a connection? How do you weigh conflicting evidence and decide whether someone is or is not someone else's parent? What if this connection has been *presumed* for a few hundred years?
  3. If someone has added children/siblings based on a GEDCOM import where the source is a FamilySearch listing, will anyone care if I just delete it? LOL But seriously, two people have been inserted into a pre-1700 family and I've never seen them before in 20 years of looking at this family tree. I believe them to be a result of data corruption. A Michael Harlan married a Dixon sister, and now she has two new siblings named Michael Dixon and Harlan Dixon? How does one normally propose a change like this without just deleting or de-coupling profiles?

Sorry for all the questions, and thanks in advance for any advice!

WikiTree profile: Henry Dixon
in Genealogy Help by Glenn Dixon G2G4 (4k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

3 Answers

+10 votes
I would put the data in a Research Notes section of the biography.  This let's others know that it's not a sure thing and provides a place where others can add their input.  Once it's worked out, if ever, you can either leave the back and forth so it will be know why what was done was done.  Or you can leave a smaller summary of what was done an why.  It's probably a good idea to leave something, however, so that the same questions don't come up in the future.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (404k points)
+10 votes

Communicate before editing. People will care if you remove their work without consultation, and that would be against the Honor Code.

G2G is a good venue for discussing controversial changes. Open a discussion here. Describe the information you have, the sources, the unknowns, and the conflicts. Explain what you propose to do, and why. Tag your question with tags for the surname(s), projects (e.g., quakers), time periods, geographies, etc., as appropriate. Post a link to your question on the affected profiles.

Don't expect instant answers -- but you might get quick answers, if someone here is familiar with the families or the relevant resources.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
Thanks Ellen. After reviewing the notes in question I realized that the amount of text involved is fairly substantial. It would probably not work to just insert it into the bio. I think I will make a freespace or two (per Lucy's suggesstion) and then start a conversation here, referencing the relevant profiles and research papers and old FIDOnet threads.
+9 votes
I think you should probably create a freespace for the emails and be sure to put Research Notes on the profile.  You could also contact other Dixon researchers here and invite them to view the profile and freespace if you'd like to discuss the matter sooner rather than later.

As far as severing relationships, I think that needs to be done on a case-by-case basis taking into account how reliable the sources are.
by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (407k points)
Edited - answer not wanted


AC Myers is pretty much the only/main source for all of the assumptions that have become so entrenched here. But let's look at his quotes in detail. It is *not* JUST a list of certificates, but is created "With Genealogical Notes from Friends' Records of Ireland and Pennsylvania, Genealogies, County Histories, and Other Books and Manuscripts."

In the Newark/Kennett monthly meeting section, her starts William's entry off with the Lurgan monthly meeting record of the William Dixson/Isabelle Rea marriage, witnessed by Henry and Rose. He then states: "This, no doubt, is the same family that came over to New Castle Co., prior to 1690. Henry Dixson, it is said, kept an inn at New Castle and had three children:"

(emphasis mine)

He is no longer working from meeting certificates here. It is pure hearsay and conjecture. There is no source cited for the innkeeper data. That is why I consider the Henry/Ireland connection to be controversial. I have an entirely new G2G thread on that topic...

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